Monday, September 10, 2012

Homework Station: Before and After

Haley has a lot more homework this year. And of course, it will just continue to increase. Plus as the boys get older they'll have more homework to do, too. So we decided it was time to set up a dedicated homework area so they can all have a spot to work.

Searching the Internet for a good deal, the best we found was a special at IKEA for $20.00 Since I've been wanting to visit ever since they opened, we decided to make the long trip down to IKEA to get the desks. I loved the store, but didn't get much chance to look around. And let me tell you, next time I won't let Aaron talk me out of dropping the kids at the Smaland childcare center! It would have been much more enjoyable if we weren't dragging 4 children through the store.

But we got the desks and brought them home to assemble. Where I promptly dropped a table leg on one of the desks and created a large dent. D'oh!

I guess for a true before and after picture, I should have posted a shot of the living room with no desks at all. But I didn't think to take that picture. So here is the homework area with desks and chairs assembled. Workable, but a little plain.

I wanted to fix it up a little more. I started by using wood putty to repair the dent in the desktop. So it was level, but still didn't look great. In trying to think of a way to improve the desktop, I stumbled across these.
That seemed perfect! I used one of those to cover the patched dent and put another at each chair. With a dry erase marker, the kids can now use the little dry-erase boards as scratch pads while doing their homework or just to draw for fun. I also added a number line around the edges of one desk. Haley likes to use a number line when doing her match homework, but we end up drawing a new one every couple of days. Either she loses it or she writes all over it, but within a day or to we have to make another. It's not that it's difficult, but it takes up time that she should have been spending on the homework itself. So I printed out a number line from 1-100 and taped it to the desk edges, then covered it with clear contact paper. Now she'll have the number line always available, and the clear contact paper lets her write on it with her dry-erase marker and then clean it off for next time!

I'm pretty happy with the new setup. Now I'm looking forward to the kids bringing back some homework tonight so they can try it out!

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